BookBrowse Reviews Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

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Days Without End

by Sebastian Barry

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry X
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2017, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster

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In Days Without End, the love that two U.S. Army volunteers have for each other helps them survive the horrors of the Indian Wars and the Civil War.

Irish author Sebastian Barry has written multiple novels about the McNulty clan of Sligo, Ireland, inspired by the lives of his ancestors. When I heard that Days Without End (which was named the 2016 Costa Book of the Year), takes place in nineteenth-century America, I worried he wouldn't be able to bring a different setting to life. Fortunately, I was wrong. An entirely believable look at the life of the American soldier in the 1850s and 1860s, this novel succeeds due in part to its folksy dialect and a perfect balance between adventuresome spirit and repulsion at wartime carnage.

The narrator is Thomas McNulty, who snuck onto a ship to Canada after his family died during Ireland's potato famine. By age 17 he pitches up in Daggsville, Missouri, where he meets the man who will become his lover and lifelong friend, John Cole, and together they volunteer for the Army. "We were...

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